Color Theory #3

This is one of the llamas at Clove Cottages in New York State. I drew the llama here. She was painted (for a color theory class at the local community college) using a double-split color scheme, which means I used two pairs of complementary colors.  Magenta and green, and blue-violet and yellow.

This is close to the palette I normally use.  But I’m usually pretty disorganized, and choose colors randomly. I’ve never restricted myself to only a few pure tube colors. (I had no tube color for blue-violet, so I mixed up a big puddle of ultramarine blue and  alizarin crimson. The pigments did tend to separate out, but when remixed, they made a familiar blue-violet of which I am very fond.)

Sometimes restrictions upon artwork conversely allow you more freedom. With only four colors available to my paintbrush,  I first spent a lot of time playing around, figuring out how those paints would mix. Then I planned the painting—colors and temperatures of the shadows and the highlights. Only then did I start splashing on paint.

The actual painting took very little time. After so much preparation, making the picture was exhilarating. It felt like skateboarding down a steep hill; there were some bumpy spots, but mostly it was fast and furious. And I didn’t fall off once.